Mar 31, 2010

Time For Vacation?

We don't do vacation much in this family. No money is the obvious primary reason. And then there are the other reasons. Between the exhaustion of getting ready to go and the exhaustion of returning and going back to work it hardly ever seems worth it. How much rest can you get with 3 kids who require intense supervision, no money and a cooler full of food you still have to prepare because you have no money to eat out on vacation? I mean as Dirty Harry said, " A man's got to know his limitations." Having said that I am planning a spring break vacation next week to visit the artist and her other half, "the tall man" for a few days because I just never seem to learn. They live 3 hours from here. The teenager has it locked in her brain that she must go bowling in that particular city. The boy wants to "hang with" the tall man for some "guy time." Where do children learn to talk this way? Last time we visited the tall man took the boy driving on the beach in his "off road vehicle." That phrase is repeated by the teenager at least 10 times a day as we drive to and fro ever since she learned it. Off road vehicle. Off road vehicle. Off road vehicle.The tall man was, by report, a horrible, mischievous, hyperactive child. Years later he has turned into a very nice, mischievous, hyperactive man. The boy and the tall man are quite the combination when together but in all honesty if Atilla the Hun showed up at my front door and wanted to hang with the boy for some guy time I would gladly oblige if it bought me even 15 minutes of peace. The boy's teacher told me this week the entire class has been squirrely because they are tired. At this point I wanted to shout, WHAT ABOUT ME ME ME ME ME? Unfortunately, I would sound too much like my children so I suppressed the urge. I won't even go into the baby's sleep disorder and how vacations seem to exacerbate the symptoms. As I'm writing this my right eye is swollen to a slit and my vision has decreased from 20/20 to around 20/60. When I was doing the eye chart yesterday at the emergency walk in clinic the ARNP informed me, "when you say E?, G?, blah, blah, something, something, C?, during an eye test you should probably move up a line until you can actually read it." The eye could be connected to some tests I had in December that came back positive for some kind of auto-immune disease. The ARNP who is also a friend, wanted to repeat them in 3 months after my hideous joint flare up subsided hoping it was just a bursitis fluke. So Friday I find out if I am heading off to a rheumatologist to be diagnosed with Rheumatoid arthritis, Lupus, Sarcoidosis.....In other words, something to look forward to. Like vacation.

Mar 28, 2010

Santa Hat in the Toilet

I always have such high hopes for each new day. You know, however, what kind of day it will be when you find a Santa hat in the toilet at 7:00 AM and "not me" did it. Call me intuitive but I stand there gazing at the wet, red blob just knowing someone also tried to flush it. Thank God it didn't flush. We have already dug enough odd objects out of the pipes to charge admission to our own sewage salvage museum. The New Living translation of the Bible sums up days like this much better than I ever could: "So don't worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will bring its own worries. Today's trouble is enough for today." Matthew 6:34
Amen to this. And Amen.

Mar 25, 2010

Pre-K Field Trip

Today the teenager and I went to the baby's pre-k for a "parking lot field trip" to see the Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Motorcycle Drill Team, Inc. perform. I thought about bringing the boy but was happy i didn't when i saw this:

The sisters had a great time together!

For more about the drill team go here:

Mar 24, 2010

Your First 10,000 photographs Are Your Worst. – Henri Cartier-Bresson

Look at mommy.

Sit up!




Look at mommy Look at mommy Look at mommy. Look at mommy. Look at mommy. Look at mommy. Look at mommy. Look at mommy. Look at mommy. Look at mommy. Look at mommy. Look at mommy. Look at mommy. Look at mommy. Look at mommy.
Only 9,994 to go...

Mar 23, 2010

You Have Reached the Offices of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. For God the Father, Press One...

Once when I had the flu I bent over to pick something up and kept going hitting my head on a window sill. Feeling a trickle i looked in the mirror only to discover that I probably needed 2 to 3 stitches over my eye. It was hardly worth the effort in my current state so I grabbed a bag of frozen peas and lay down on the sofa instead. The boy sees me and becomes alarmed at the sight of blood. With children it is
always about the blood. I am firmly convinced a child could witness the most horrifying accident imaginable but if no blood was involved it would not leave the slightest impression. Add in a droplet of blood and they would require counseling for life. My boy assess this situation and in an alarmed voice yells, "Mom! You need help!" He then runs to the phone. 911? No. "How do I call God?" I explained calling God was called prayer and it was not done with a phone. Calling God was like a conversation. God always hears our prayers because he is a heavenly father who loves us. You simply talk to Him. I see the boy walk over to a corner and say, "God, mom needs help." He then walks over to me and informs me, "He'll be right here." Even with the raging fever I figured this was gong to be worth staying awake for. Sure enough, five to ten minutes later a neighbor knocks on the door. She was on her way to the grocery store but "something compelled" her to stop in. Great. "Could you butterfly my head shut?" She did and I recovered from the flu and the laceration. Today, as all three of the kids are acting like giant pissants, I pause to ponder and reminisce about this precious moment. It is so much easier than implementing time out for life times three.

Mar 21, 2010

Osteogenesis Imperfecta Type 3

Yeah. That's what I said, too. As a student nurse it was one of the diseases we had to study. I can even remember questions on my state boards and I don't remember much about that time as I was pregnant and vomiting with a terrible cold during the state wide testing and had to pee every ten minutes. Every time I had to barf or blow my nose or tinkle I had to raise my hand and be accompanied to the ladies room by a monitor. Yes. It was that bad. In 2000 I came face to face with Osteogenesis Imperfecta type 3 when I was asked to take a baby as a medical foster placement. A friend who was a respiratory therapist I had worked with in the past was at my house setting up the medical equipment in preparation for the placement. Besides having a disease that only about 1 in 70,000 world wide have the baby also had severe respiratory issues and a tracheostomy. The RT who worked with me as a pediatric nurse in the community sensed my nervousness and said, "this is your first trache baby isn't it?" My response was, "No, but it's the first one I ever lived with." And so 10 years later the rest is history as they say and I am very careful to mention this illustration from my life to medical students when I speak to them at USF about the entity called Osteogenesis Imperfecta. You see, no matter how compassionate, empathetic, intelligent or medical savvy you are, you will NEVER truly understand anything in this life until you've lived it. In the ten years of this difficult journey I have met some remarkable people that I would like to feature now and then. Today I'll start with Jake and his family. Jake and my boy biopsy out as the same type of OI. We first met Jake and his hilarious mom in Dallas 2004 at one of the OI national conferences. Jake was in a body cast with a cast on one arm. The spica cast is shown in the photo of my boy above. Well sort of, anyway. We had to improvise a Halloween costume after two major surgeries and a major femur fracture that broke the titanium rod in his femur thrusting it out of the broken bone into the soft tissue of his hip. The spica cast which goes from the bottom of the feet to chest is covered in mummy strips. In Dallas, as if a spica and a broken arm weren't enough, Jake broke his other arm. When his mom, crying, asked if he needed to go to the emergency room in Dallas Jake responded, "No thanks. Just give me some Advil and put me down for a nap." He was 4 years old at the time. Jake and his family were blessed with a new home through Extreme Home Makeover last year. This month, Jake is featured on a National Geographic special you can watch at this link:
Treat yourself to the special and learn something new. You won't regret it.

Mar 19, 2010

Differently Abled Mothers and Deadly Butter

Last night I went to my sons school to celebrate it's 40th
birthday. We're sitting at the beautifully decorated table eating the catered dinner when one of the moms who sees me opening a pat of butter warns me that it is very, very hard. The words are barely out of her mouth when the butter flies out of the package like a hockey puck and hits me smack on the tip of my nose. I'm still reeling with the force of the impact when it then bounces off my nose and flies onto the floor about 2 feet away. The people at the table (all strangers) couldn't even begin to pretend they didn't see this happen. It was clear to me that they were straining to be polite but simply could not control their impulse to explode with laughter. I was laughing so hard food would have come out of my nose had it not been swollen shut from the force of the direct hit. So much for making a good impression. As if that wasn't bad enough I then had to ask my son's teacher if I could write a bad check for the raffle tickets. Don't buy raffle tickets you say? Honey, this is a Catholic school. Not buying a raffle ticket borders on the sacrilegious. And oh, lets not forget the thought of paying $20.00 for dinner when all my son would eat was 1/2 of a dinner roll. Without butter. The good news was it was a magical night with families of other special kids who are the most joy-filled, tolerant , down to earth bunch you'd ever want to break bread with. Or break your nose with. The kids musical performance was so touching. The art work was simply beautiful. I am in utter amazement of both art and music teachers at this school. How do they get these kids with special challenges to create such masterpieces? How do they tap into the creative energy of a non-verbal or autistic child? How do they get a dyslexic, ADHD child to study Van Gogh or Dali? How is it that every child who leaves the school reads music? The best moment was when my son, who was playing percussion, suddenly left the stage area walks over to me and gives me a kiss. You could hear the audience ooooing and aaaahhing and one dad asking very loudly, "How come our kids never do that?" which brought more laughter. And so is life. You take the good with the bad and after a while you realize something. It's all good.

Mar 18, 2010

A Little Child Shall Lead Them and Introduce Them To Technology

Today I set up a stereo set that I had in the attic because I thought it would be nice to listen to the radio while i was putzing around. Of course there is no radio. Ok. I'll play a DVD. Of course I could not get it to work. So what's new? I can't tell a speaker from a woofer and have no clue what wire goes where. When I want to play a DVD or old VHS I call my teen who is developmentally delayed. She can always get them up and running and rolls her eyes at me like my daughter the genius when I have computer issues. I simply gave up on the stereo and went about my business. After all this techno challenge of mine is nothing new. Later in the day the baby is crawling around on the floor and the next thing I know Michael W. Smith is blasting and I mean
blasting from the stereo. There sits the baby not knowing if she should be frightened or proud of her accomplishment. I don't know what the child pushed or how she made music but I am grateful and not at all surprised that a developmentally delayed 2 year old has more techno sense than her mother. I'm long past the humiliation.

Mar 16, 2010

A Tree Grows In Brooklyn

And speaking of Gregory Peck... I thought it would be fun to list your favorite fiction books in the comments section. Now I know I have more followers that the ones who actually admit they follow this so I would love to hear from everyone. You can list as many as 5 or as few as one. I want books that have impacted your life i.e., books you just cannot forget. Here are mine:
1.) A Tree Grows in Brooklyn by Betty Smith (pictured above.)
2.) To Kill A Mockingbird by Harper Lee (yeah Gregory Peck! An awesome old movie as well!)

3.) Alas, Babylon by Pat Frank
4.) East of Eden by John Steinbeck (I love, love, love Steinbeck)
5.) The Stand by Stephen King
I would love to read a book from everyone's favorite list! You can even choose which one! Note to Jennie: PLEASE don't ask me to read Anna Karenina. Please.

Mar 15, 2010

Gregory Peck vs The Button

I've been collecting buttons for more years than I care to admit. When I was little my mom had a button jar and I would sit for hours pondering every, single, button in the jar. The one that I remember vividly was red and sparkly and mom told me it was a real ruby. It's a strain on the memory cells but I'm pretty sure it was really glass. Recently, I decided to do something with my buttons and vintage jewelry and have been working on ideas. Since then my button collection seems to have exploded. When my friend Barb's mom passed away recently Barb gave me her mom's button jar! What a treasure! I'm sure Grace would approve as we were kindred spirits in the world of gardening and crafts. My friend Bobbie, who thinks I am a little button goofy, scoured her house recently and gave me a baggie of buttons. Now, my neighbor Joan upon finding out I liked buttons and old jewelry says she going to bring me a ton of stuff she has left over from one of her estate sales. Oh, how I love Joans' estate sale leftovers! Recently I dreamed about a big bowl of buttons. It was almost as pleasant as the dream where I was making out with Gregory Peck. Almost but not quite. Buttons better than Gregory Peck? Now that would really be a Baptist white lie.

Mar 14, 2010

Baptist White Lie

My Friend Kathy sent this to me and I love it:

Alice Grayson was to bake a cake for the Baptist Church Ladies' Group in Tuscaloosa , but forgot to do it until the last minute. She remembered it the morning of the bake sale and after rummaging through cabinets, found an angel food cake mix & quickly made it while drying her hair, dressing, and helping her son pack for scout camp.

When she took the cake from the oven, the center had dropped flat and the cake was horribly disfigured and she exclaimed, "Oh dear, there is not time to bake another cake!" This cake was important to Alice because she did so want to fit in at her new church, and in her new community of friends.

So, being inventive, she looked around the house for something to build up the center of The cake. She found it in the bathroom - a roll of toilet paper. She plunked it in and then covered it with icing. Not only did the finished product look beautiful, it looked perfect. And, before she left the house to drop the cake by the church and head for work, Alice woke her daughter and gave her some money and specific instructions to be at the bake sale the moment it opened at 9:30 and to buy the cake and bring it home.

When the daughter arrived at the sale, she found the attractive, perfect cake had already been sold. Amanda grabbed her cell phone and called her mom.

Alice was horrified-she was beside herself! Everyone would know! What would they think? She would be ostracized, talked about, ridiculed!

All night, Alice lay awake in bed thinking about people pointing fingers at her and talking about her behind her back.

The next day, Alice promised herself she would try not to think about the cake and would attend the fancy luncheon/bridal shower at the home of a fellow church member and try to have a good time. She did not really want to attend because the hostess was a snob who more than once had looked down her nose at the fact that Alice was a single parent and not from the founding families of Tuscaloosa , but having already RSVP'd , she couldn't think of a believable excuse to stay home.

The meal was elegant, the company was definitely upper crust old south and to Alice 's horror, the cake in question was presented for desert!
Alice felt the blood drain from her body when she saw the cake! She started out of her chair to tell the hostess all about it, but before she could get to her feet, the Mayor's wife said, "what a beautiful cake!" Alice , still stunned, sat back in her chair when she heard the hostess (who was a prominent church member) say, "Thank you, I baked it myself."

Alice smiled and thought to herself, "God is good."

Art Camp Poster Child

Been so busy. As if life isn't complicated enough throwing 6 nebulizer treatments a day in there really kicked the craziness up a notch. Good news though, baby is better and will be returning to Pre-K tomorrow. Ready for round 10? Ding Ding Ding. Last week I came home from work and grabbed the mail. There was a pamphlet from Art Camp which i ripped open (See 1/29/10 posting regarding art camp and the origami femur fracture). There in the middle of a beautiful collage of children making art is my boy! Ah, how adorable and not hard to miss as it is the largest photo in the collage. Children holding up their paintings. Children playing African musical instruments. Studious children at easels creating works of art. The boy holding up a...paint of art...African lizard. A lizard. I came to the conclusion finally that I was grateful that he had pink and purple paint on his fingers so it was obvious he had been doing something "artistic" at the not so inexpensive art camp. And I was grateful after closely studying the lizard that it was not pink and purple. To see the pamphlet go to:

Mar 4, 2010

Molar in the Drainboard

You know your a mom when you find a molar in the drainboard with the clean dishes. There was a day when I would've questioned this as a young mom. Now as a seasoned mom I am just thankful it was not my molar. Baby might be better today but I am cautiously optimistic. We did go screeching off to the pediatrician again yesterday afternoon due to horrifying increased cough. She has coughed so hard and so long she has developed an umbilical hernia. Good-bye "in-y" hello "outy." Anyway, babe does have RSV but 02 sats are 97% so she does not have to be admitted. I can do all of the treatments at home. She seems better today and so happy as always. Today as she offered me one of her snot covered organic rice crispies I couldn't help but reflect on how thankful I am she has not only survived but thrived. She truly is a blessing.

Mar 3, 2010

Pharmacist Stalkings and Drive-by's (thru's?)

Yesterday I took my un-filled prescriptions, and went to another XYZ pharmacy. The pharmacist was absolutely wonderful. He got authorization for the $300.00 medication in 5 minutes and I was out the door with prescription in hand. What a wonderful, compassionate, efficient pharmacy person! This morning a friend calls. Someone drove their SUV thru an XYZ pharmacy last night and my friend was wondering if it was me doing a drive-by/drive-thru in retaliation of XYZ number one. I had to laugh out loud at that one but then I started to wonder...
"...police say an SUV plowed into a XYZ store overnight. It happened shortly after 11 p.m. Tuesday...According to police, the vehicle hit the area near the cash registers, leaving the employees rather shaken up by the incident -- but uninjured. Just hours after the crash, the store opened back up for business, even though the building is heavily damaged.Investigators have not released details on the female driver, but no one was arrested in connection to the accident. "
My new pharmacy. My new, wonderful, compassionate, efficient pharmacist! I was wondering why he hadn't called me back about the nasal spray? He was staring down the grill of an SUV. If they have to close this store I will track this man to the ends of the earth. My next entry may be written from a jail cell where I have been arrested for stalking a pharmacist.

Mar 1, 2010

Stick A Fork In Me...I'm Done

So today I take the baby to the pediatrician. It's rather embarrassing when you can't tell if your baby just pooed or if that stank odor is coming from her nose. It's that bad. I love our pediatrician. She listens to the babes lungs and tells me she is wheezing. Surprise! She also asks if they tested for RSV ( ) at the ER yesterday? I tell her I asked them too but they didn't think she had RSV because "her fever was too high" (say what? ) and she "wasn't wheezing." She smiles. You think she has RSV don't you? "Probably." Good thing I ignored doc number two from the ER yesterday and have continued with her nebulizer treatments. So we change antibiotics as obviously the poo nose is an indication that the first one is not working after 7 days. She adds a nebulized steroid and a steroid nose spray for the RSV (ER doc number one YOU WERE RIGHT) and wants her back in 3 weeks unless she takes a turn for the worse. I have to say her temp has come down from 104 to a respectable 102 which is an improvement. She did wake up at 3:00 AM this morning, though, semi-delirious with fever and said, "uh-oh" for one solid hour until the Motrin kicked in and she drifted off. I drifted in and out listening to her ramble and had a very pleasant dream at one point that I was making out with Gregory Peck. After we see the pediatrician today I drove around from 3:15 PM 7:15 PM trying to get the inhaled steroids and steroid nose spray prescriptions filled to no avail. XYZ pharmacy makes me come back twice and finally at 6:00PM tell me they need authorization from the doctor to fill these. Wha? Isn't the prescription she wrote good enough????? No, they have fax'd her a note. Hello people the office is closed! ARRRRRGGGGGHHHHHHHH!!!!! I take the prescriptions back vowing NEVER to go back to XYZ pharmacy again, borrow some of the nebulized steroids from a friend until I can figure out what in the world I am going to do (the med is over $300.00). I then proceeded to the friends LMNOP pharmacy as she fills the exact same RX there with no difficulties and we have the same insurance. I sit in the drive thru for 30 minutes pissing off everyone behind me. At this pharmacy I present the babes birth certificate and adoption paper work as I have no ID card. (ID card? My son got 3 in the mail and all of them had different numbers on them) The lady asks me if I can come in the store. In the store? We have been in the car since 1:30 PM and it is now 7:15 PM. The baby's temp is raging at this point and the other two are ready to mutiny. No thank you. I go home in total defeat.Miraculously, I get home and find a box from last year after i turn the house upside down and it doesn't expire until April. Hooray and thank you Lord! I notice the label. The pharmacy that filled it last year was XYZ with no problems whatsoever. There is a lesson in all of this but I am too tired to study. I'm going to bed instead.